A guaranteed happily ever after- a great girly read (4 stars)
Source- the author provided me with a copy of her novel in exchange for a review
Published by Book Baby- June 2012
Kindle edition- 273 pages
If you’re looking for a fresh new romance with a happily ever after, then look no further ladies- this is a book for you to add to your wish lists immediately. Laurey Buckland brings a strong new voice to the romance genre with this tale of friendship and love.
Meet Maddie, Clare, Isobel and Sophie: four best friends who are all facing their own problems. Daydreaming Maddie is stuck in a job she hates, yet doesn’t have the courage to follow her dreams; perpetual romantic Sophie has to face up to the notion that her perfect relationship might not quite be so perfect after all; OCD sufferer Clare struggles to banish the beliefs that have long dominated her life and actress Isobel wants her time in the spotlight, yet is still unable to show people the real her. ‘A Girl’s Guide to Fairy Tales’ follows the lives of these women and upholds the optimistic belief that happy endings aren’t just found in fiction…
Though the premise of love and friendship is in itself nothing new, the writing of this story flowed beautifully and really engaged me as a reader. At first it felt quite ‘dialogue heavy’ which took me a bit of getting used to, but therein lies its charm; and with chapters told from alternating perspectives of the four characters, you feel like you get to know them. In fact, by the end of the novel, they did seem like old friends, each with their own distinct voices.
Character-wise, I have to say that the author has managed to create four very different people, who somehow mesh well together in a group, as well as keep the storyline moving at an appealing pace. Their attributes and personalities fit together, and at the fundamental heart of this story is their close friendship and them being there for one another, offering support and advice in the different ways befitting to them. Maddie, I liked a lot as a character. She resonated with me the most and to me, she seemed the most genuine person out of all four girls.
Isobel, I feel I perhaps only got to know on a surface level, but given her personality traits I’m not sure if this is deliberate on the authors part or not as she did seem a bit ‘aloof’ on occasion. Despite this, I really admired her continual loyalty to the others and her dedicated sense of ambition. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Clare or not either, but as the book went on she seemed to undertake more of a journey than the rest of the characters, and I enjoyed getting to know her and finding out what made her tick. She seemed to be the most complex of the four, and though I started off feeling a bit sorry for her, my opinion later changed. Like the rest, I wanted her to find her happy ending, whatever form it would take.
To be honest, I really couldn’t stand Sophie though. I realise that this isn’t the intention and that the author wanted her to be a fun and likeable girl, but she was too much of an irrational drama queen for me to relate to at all, and her constant use of ‘text speak’ made me repeatedly grit my teeth. Maybe I’m just not ‘down with the kids’ enough to get it, but it genuinely got on my nerves! Needless to say, I’m sure a lot of other readers will like her and probably even be able to identify with her, or have friends just like her.
Text-speaking Sophie and a few minor issues with grammar aside, this was a fun, girly read. It had its moments of drama, humour and tension, but what I found most reassuring about it was the friendship between the four girls themselves which remained rock-steady throughout the plot. I also believe that the way the story ends definitely leaves this novel open to a sequel- I would enjoy catching up with the lives of these girls again in future as well as seeing what Laurey Buckland comes up with next. This is a book I would recommend for fans of Trisha Ashley or Victoria Connelly and would be a great present for your female friends this Christmas.